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Interesting free NMEA GPS tools
MisterMoonlight
I have used all these tools with microsoft pharos igps-500 provided gps (Streets & Trips 2008) and they are working correctly on my Thinkpad T42, supporting Suspend/Hibernate as well. They will work with any NMEA serial + usb (that provides a virtual com port through a driver) gps receiver.

Xport: http://curioustech.home.insightbb.com/xport.html

This tool allows to provide multiple COM port (up to 8) so your gps can be used with more than one application at the same time. It must be started up manually. I have tried this tool with 3 apps at the same time (gpsdiag, S&T 2008 and earthbridge+google earth). One variant different of provided instruction that work better is to enable output serial port first (with desired applications) and input gps serial port last. That way, other application hooked will not shows incorrect behavior once the gps is started to be shared (important for earthbridge). This tool is a subset of franson gpsgate for free

GpsDiag: http://www.download.com/GPSDiag/3000-2130_4-10055902.html?hhTest=1

This tools is very helpfull to diagnose gps and satellite reception outside of Streets & Trips 2008. It allows to see the satellites that are choosen, the SNR, etc realtime. It could be used to tune the gps receiver location.

Earthbridge: http://mboffin.com/earthbridge/

This tools has two main features:
1- It allows to see visually satellites information for gps receiver location tuning.
2- It allows to use your gps receiver with Google Earth (free edition ) (an internet connection is needed for this to get live map). Your position will be tracked and trace into google earth.

Using all these tools together, i can see my position in MS Streets and Trips 2008, tune the gps receiver location and see my position in google earth at the same time
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